Tag Archives: alchohol

Free To A Good Home: One (Almost) House Trained Tenant

Arrgh!  I first began this blog as a form of therapy to offload some of the ridiculousness of human nature which us landlords come across on a daily basis.  Thankfully over the last couple of years I’ve either become a better judge of character or God threw me some decent, independent, rent paying tenants just to give me a break.

Throughout the blog posts, Tom has appeared on a regular basis as either the cause of some unacceptable behaviour or as an inspiration with his unique quotes.  On average, every 6 months he goes off the rails, gets blind drunk and throws his not inconsiderable weight around the house and is completely oblivious the next day of anything which occurred 12 hours earlier.  I have a rant at him, produce the evidence and issue yet another Section 21.

He’s been a tenant for 8 years and I’m now convinced he suffers from a learning difficulty and is unable to interpret people, emotions or social situations.  He’s nearly 50 and conditions such as dyspraxia, autism, ADHD, etc. weren’t acknowledged or diagnosed when he was young to the extent they are today.  I’m also convinced that is why he drinks – it’s never at home, always in a pub and he’s always the first to buy someone else a drink.  He has a “friend” who can mend a phone, operate a lawnmower, do a deal on a laptop  or window cleaning but these “friends” never visit, never have a name and are nowhere to be seen on Christmas Day.  When he has only loose change in his pocket, he always makes sure there’s food in the fridge and his sheets and clothes are pressed, the house is spotless and he loves to help out other housemates. This can go on for weeks on end and he has never, ever once been late with his rent top up.

Then, he obtains some cash from somewhere, goes to the pub, comes home with or without a police escort and without provocation becomes so angry the other housemates are scared as he bashes his way round the hall and upstairs to bed.  They’re lucky if he doesn’t p**s himself along the way.  They all say the same thing – what a wonderful, kind man sober, but an incontrollable nightmare when drunk.

According to Tom, he’s been in the Army, worked in the scaffolding and security businesses and run warehouses but I’ve glimpsed his CV and he’s been unable to hold down a job for more than a few months since school.  As someone once said “Run a warehouse?  He can hardly run a bath”.

At the beginning of the year I was at the end of my tether as to what to do with him after he set off the fire alarm thinking it was the light switch.  I contacted social services for advice as I deem him on the verge of vulnerable if evicted as he was previously homeless before he came to me.  I didn’t get a response.  I know the council are under far too much pressure finding housing for those people for whom they have a legal responsibility and as a single man with no dependants, he won’t be entitled to any sheltered housing.

I have no idea what will happen to him or how this particular situation will end but I do know that I’m sorely tempted to wrap Tom up in a blanket one night, place him in a moses basket with a bottle of whisky and a note with his name and NI number and leave him on the doorstep of the council’s housing department to be discovered the next morning.

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Filed under being a landlord, Tenant Stories

Is My HMO Cursed?!

This is a ridiculous question, I know, but came to light after a phone call from Lewis.  Lewis left one of my rooms earlier this year after falling in love and moving in with his new girlfriend, but unfortunately owed me around £300 in rent arrears.  Not one to stand in the way of a true romance I told him, if he wanted a landlord reference, he’d need to pay off his arrears first as our town is small and I’m reluctant to lie to a fellow HMO landlord.  We wished each other well and he left looking like the cat that got the cream.

Not 3 months later and he’s on the phone.  To be fair, he did pay £50 off his arrears just after he left then called to explain that his mum had a number of suicide attempts, his sisters were out of control, his dad’s alcoholism wasn’t helping and his girlfriend had dumped him – could I give him a room or a reference?  Sorry about his personal circumstances, but no.

We went on to discuss the welfare of the other housemates and I told him that, since Christmas, three of them had lost their jobs.  “You know what?” he replied “That bloody house is cursed.  I lost my job within a couple of months of moving in.  What did you do in your past life that’s come back to haunt you and the rest of us?”  “Actually” I reasoned “People downgrade from self contained accommodation to a room because their life is starting to fall apart.  I really don’t think it’s me.”  This isn’t true as almost everyone who lost their job had seemingly secure, long term positions.  However, it got me wondering about my past misdemeanours………………..

Tom – Again!

Sunday morning and the phone goes saying that Tom had burst through the front door the previous evening, banged on everyone’s door swearing at each tenant demanding to know who had left a knife covered in chocolate spread in his beautifully polished sink and they were all a bunch of “F****** ***ts” for not respecting his cleaning skills.  This sparked wall punching and accusations over the pee on the bathroom floors and all hell broke loose between Greg, Andrew, Justin and Tom – only 3 of whom were sober.  I called a house meeting on the Monday and asked everyone involved to come along to get the underlying issues sorted.

Standing in the kitchen with 4 HUGE, jumpy, testosterone fuelled men baring their teeth and trying to talk over each other about the issue of who last used chocolate spread, it became almost laughable (to me).  Failing to calm them down enough so each tenant could voice his grievances I ended up grabbing a wooden spoon and using it as a Talking Stick.  The purpose of the Talking Stick is to only allow the person holding it to speak and everyone else must keep quiet until they’ve finished and each person has a turn to hold it.  After a shaky start and lots of indignant interruptions, it worked!  Greg was fed up of the toilet being dirty, Andrew was upset at being threatened in front of his girlfriend, Tom was depressed at being unemployed and spending his days cleaning the kitchen after the others and felt their dirty dishes disrespected him, and Jason, it appeared, was just there for fun.

I explained to Tom that, if he lived in my house, my kitchen, the sink and most of the house would cause him a coronary as it’s so untidy and was it really fair to take out his frustrations on the other tenants?  Andrew agreed to make an effort to wash up and, as for the pee, short of doing a DNA test no-one would confess.  Everyone shook hands, stopped short of a bear hug and felt happy that the air had been cleared.

Is the house cursed?  I really hope not – at least for the sake of the next tenant.  Perhaps I should warn him……


Filed under Management of an HMO